Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ike Turner (RIP)

Today I am in mourning for one of the unsung GREATS of Rock n Roll.
The much maligned and deamonised pioneer of Rock n Roll music, Mr Ike Turner died recently.

I just finished reading Ike’s autobiography, and all I can say is that I count myself very fortunate not to have experienced some of the racial inequality and hatred that he had to deal with during his career, and if he was bitter towards white people for how he was treated in those days I sympathise, and cannot say that I blame hime for one moment. Ike was certainly no angel, and he never denied having the odd set-to with Mrs Turner, but was nowhere near the ogre as depicted in the movie of Tina’s Life.

Now, I certainly do not condone domestic violence, but those were different times, and things that were acceptable or NORMAL THEN are certainly not acceptable NOW.

Ike was a scrawny whisp if a man in his younger days, and Tina was always a strong, muscular woman, and would have given the man far more than his moneys worth in any altercation, and for this man to be ex-communicated as he was, certainly appears to be no more than a huge media beat-up by Tinas publicity machine of the time as she fought to make a name for herself and stand on her own two feet after having everything previously done for her.

I do not doubt or refute that she may have been in a confrontational situation with her husband, but WHO can honestly say that they have never been in that situation? - not many!
True, they had an “unusual” relationship, but it was carried on just how it began, and they were both comfortable with the arrangements. Ike was not a “front-man’ nor the “star” but Ike was a visionary.

He manufactured Tina Turner!

He recognised her RAW POTENTIAL!

He taught her how to walk - how to dance in her provocative manner, exactly how to sing, how and what to wear.

He designed the stage outfits, choreographed the dance steps, and wrote the songs.

He hired and fired the band members, and ran a “very” tight ship. Musicians that didn’t tow the line, or do the dance etc had a very short career with the Ike and Tina Turner Review, and I am glad that he was finally credited with writing the “first” rock n Roll song, entitled Rocket 88.
A very young Elvis Presley used to sneak across the road into the “black” side, and sit behind Ike’s piano, and this is where he learnt his trade - watching Ike. Ike never sought the limelight, although he was firstly a piano player, and secondly a guitarist with a VERY unique style. Ike had an enormouse appetite for drugs, women and drink, and had far more than his fair share of all of them, and in those early 50s/60s/70s there sure seemed to be an abundance of all of those things in the age of free love and tune in, turn on and drop out.
Ike Turner was far more influential on the beginnings of Rock and Roll than is widely acknowledged, and I would like to thank him from a purely SELFISH point of view for his contribution to it.

Thanks Ike.


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